A Birth Mother in Crisis
“I want her to have a backyard to play in, to have a daddy who is there and loves her. She needs to know that life is about something. I just want her to have love, a normal childhood and a happy life.”
Just last week, after regular business hours, we received this call on our birth mother line from a woman in her early 20’s. We’ll call her Lilly. Our on-call specialist began to ask questions, and as the conversation progressed, Lilly’s voice quickly went from determined to barely audible. Lilly is parenting her two-year-old little girl, and it is breaking her heart to even think of letting another family raise her. She tearfully listed all the things she wants her daughter to learn about life – things she simply can’t teach her due to their circumstances.
Lilly came from divorced parents, both of whom made promises of help early on, but the help never really came. She had done everything she could, but she just could not afford to continue this way – emotionally or financially.
The birth father had never really been around, and on the rare occasion that he did call, he never wanted to speak with his little girl. In fact, he had never laid eyes on her, let alone paid child support or even given her a simple gift. It was clear that Lilly was hurt by this, but she acknowledged that the birth father was the one missing out on his beautiful daughter.
When asked what her little girl liked to do, Lilly laughed. “Talk!” she said. “She will talk your ear off if you let her. She picks up the phone and just starts talking. She talks to the TV, and when she’s done talking, she’ll start to sing. And she writes. She loves to write with crayons, markers, anything.” The change in Lilly’s voice as she shared these small details of her daily life clearly showed the joy she found in these moments.
Lilly considered adoption when she was first pregnant, but with the promise of family help, she had decided to parent. Two years later, she has learned that those promises of support were empty. Her education plans are stalled, and her life is a hand-to-mouth existence with her daughter in childcare every day. Lilly wants to do better for both of them. She wants to continue her education and become a physician. She desperately wants a family and a future for her little girl.
At Lifetime, we work with a wide variety of families, and at any given time, some among them are open to most any situation we are presented with. On occasion, we have had to seek out a family for something outside of regular circumstances, and we have been so blessed to receive your responses. It is heartwarming to see families come forward to embrace a situation that is outside their original preferences.
We would like to encourage you to be sure your preference list matches the situations you are open to. There have been occasions when a family has told us that they might consider a two-year-old, like Lilly’s daughter. Yet because they never officially updated their preferences with their coordinator, they were never presented. Please, search your hearts. Consider what situations you are interested in — which children you are truly open to welcoming into your family.
Call your coordinator to discuss the possibility of opening your preferences. At Lifetime, we often hear new adoptive parents say, “We don’t know what we would do without our child. She was meant for our family, and we are so thankful that we opened our hearts.” You never know what unexpected blessings may come your way if you just open your heart to the endless possibilities.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
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